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How to Cite a Dissertation or Thesis in Chicago/Turabian with Examples

Dissertations refer to a document submitted by a student intended to support the candidature for an academic degree. In practice, a dissertation or thesis allows students to contribute new knowledge, theories, and practices in their specialization field. Then, students at different levels of higher learning education must complete their dissertations to meet the required academic criteria for graduating. Moreover, there are some specific rules on how to cite a dissertation or thesis in the Chicago/Turabian referencing style that writers should follow when developing citations for dissertations. In particular, credible bibliographic entries in this format should contain the author’s name, the title, type of a thesis, and other publication details. Besides, some dissertations may not contain the author’s name. In such cases, one should use the title when preparing the bibliographic entry of the source. Also, entries for thesis bibliographies published online should contain the URL link.

General Aspects of Citing a Dissertation or Thesis in Chicago/Turabian

A dissertation refers to a student’s document intended to support the candidature for an academic degree. Basically, thesis papers allow students to contribute new knowledge, theories, and practices in their field of specialization. In this case, learners have to advance the existing knowledge by carrying out informed research. Also, the most common types of dissertations include an undergraduate thesis, a Master’s thesis, and a doctoral dissertation. Hence, students at different levels of higher learning education must complete their dissertations to meet the required academic criteria for graduating.

How to cite a dissertation in Chicago Turabian

Undegraduate Thesis

An undergraduate thesis refers to a culmination of college experiences. For example, students use the experience learned throughout undergraduate courses to focus on a single research problem. In this case, scholars must advance knowledge that can merge the knowledge gap identified. Moreover, an undergraduate thesis contains credible information that other scholars can reference in their academic papers by using the rules of citing a dissertation in Chicago/Turabian.

Master’s Thesis

A master’s thesis refers to a piece of original scholarship written under a faculty advisor’s close supervision. In practice, a master’s thesis resembles a doctoral dissertation. For example, the main difference between these types of paper includes length and focus. Basically, the Master’s thesis is shorter and has a narrow focus compared to the doctoral dissertation. Besides, a Master’s thesis allows learners to pursue further research in their field of specialization. In practice, other scholars can cite the information from the Master’s thesis due to its level of originality and credibility.

Doctoral Thesis

A doctoral thesis makes a new and creative contribution to the field of study. Basically, students pursuing a doctoral degree use the thesis to demonstrate their expertise in the area of study. In most cases, the doctoral dissertation contains an in-depth analysis of a specific research problem. Moreover, students present facts that can advance the existing knowledge in the study. In turn, other scholars cite the information contained in the doctoral dissertation by considering the referencing guidelines of the Chicago/Turabian format because it contains credible details relating to a specific topic.

Citing Rules for a Dissertation or Thesis in Chicago/Turabian

Chicago/Turabian citation style requires a student to acknowledge information obtained from credible sources. In particular, dissertations contain credible and accurate details that can support academic arguments. Then, all entries in the bibliography should include basic elements, like the author, title, and publication information. Moreover, one must follow the right punctuation when providing relevant details. Hence, the following are the guidelines on how to cite a dissertation or thesis in Chicago/Turabian that a scholar should follow when entering each element of the source.

Citing an Unpublished Dissertation in Chicago/Turabian

1. Name of the Author

The name of the author of a thesis is the first item in a bibliographic entry when citing a dissertation or thesis in Chicago/Turabian. For instance, the author’s name should appear in an inverted form in the bibliography. In this case, one must place the last name first. Then, a comma should separate the first and the last name of the author. For example, if the author of the dissertation is John Smith, it should appear as “Smith, John” in the bibliographic entry. Basically, the first, middle, and second names of the author appear on the title page of the thesis. In turn, one should identify the actual name of the author to avoid possible cases of plagiarism.

Unknown Author

Some dissertations do not contain the name of the author. In this case, writers should consider using the title of the source if it contains credible information for the citation. Also, one should not use fake names to identify the author because it can lead to a case of plagiarism. Instead, the title of the source should help one to cite a dissertation or thesis in Chicago/Turabian correctly.

2. Title of the Dissertation

The title of the dissertation represents the second item in a bibliographic entry. Basically, writers should identify the full title of the thesis when citing the required entry in Chicago/Turabian. Also, these details should appear in quotation marks. In turn, the title must appear in the title case where all the words should begin with a capital letter. Moreover, only the linking words should begin in small letters. Therefore, the title of the dissertation should appear inside quotation marks and in title case.

Punctuation Marks

The title of the dissertation should contain the right punctuation marks. For instance, one should place a period at the end of the thesis’s title. In most cases, writers place the period outside quotation marks. However, a credible bibliographic entry should contain the period inside punctuation marks. Hence, students must include the right punctuation marks when citing a dissertation or thesis in Chicago/Turabian.

3. Publication Details

Publication details of a dissertation should follow the title and must appear inside rounded brackets. In particular, the most important bibliographic details include the source type identifier, place of publication, and year. Basically, these parts may vary depending on the type of thesis that a writer uses as the source of information. Hence, the following are the guidelines for citing publication details on a dissertation or thesis in Chicago/Turabian.

A) Source Type Identifier

The source type identifier is the first item in the bibliographic entry. Basically, the source identifier refers to the type of thesis that one uses as the source of evidence. In this case, one should identify if the source is a doctoral dissertation, a master’s thesis, or an undergraduate thesis. For doctoral papers, one should use the phrase “Ph.D. diss.” Also, the word “dissertation” should appear in the shortened form. However, students should use “Master’s Thesis” or “Bachelor’s Thesis” for the other two types of dissertations.

B) Place of Publication

Place of publication refers to the learning institution of authors of dissertations. For instance, one should identify the university where the author of the thesis presented the work for academic approval. In practice, one should include the full name of the institution.

C) Year of Publication

The year of publication should be the last detail of the publication. In particular, writers should identify the actual year when the author presented the dissertation for academic defense. As a thumb rule, one should use a thesis published not later than five years.

D) Punctuation Marks

Writers should use the correct punctuation marks to separate the bibliographic entry of the sources. In practice, one should use commas to separate bibliographic information from the source. As a result, a good bibliographic entry when citing a dissertation or thesis in Chicago/Turabian should appear as (Source type identifier, place of publication, year). 

Citing a Published Dissertation in Chicago/Turabian

The bibliographic entry of a published dissertation should contain the name of the author and the title. Basically, these details should follow the format used in unpublished journals. However, other details vary. In turn, the following are the guidelines that one should follow to complete specific parts of a journal article.

1. Details of Publication

The publication details of a bibliographic entry of a published source should not appear inside brackets. For example, the type of dissertation, place, and year of publication should not appear in rounded brackets like in the unpublished thesis. However, commas should separate these details.

2. Page Numbers

Dissertation published as research articles may have unique page numbers. Basically, one should include the range of pages that contains the relevant article. In this case, a hyphen should separate the first and last pages. Besides, one should not use “p.” or “pp.” when presenting actual pages of the thesis presented. I turn, the actual pagination of a published research thesis should appear as “15-50.” Then, a period should appear after the pagination.

3. Database Name and Accession Number

The writer should identify the name of the database and the accession number. In this case, the name of the database should follow the publication details of the thesis. Basically, this name refers to the actual journal that published the dissertation. In turn, the accession number of the published dissertation should appear inside the brackets. Moreover, a period should follow the bracket containing the accession number.

Citing a Dissertation Published Online in Chicago/Turabian

One may find different types of dissertations published online. For example, the bibliographic entry of a published dissertation should contain the name of the author and the title. Also, these details should follow the format used in unpublished journals. However, some bibliographic entries vary when compared to other dissertations. Hence, the following are the guidelines on how to cite a published dissertation or thesis in Chicago/Turabian that one should use to develop the bibliographic entry.

1. Publication Inforamtion

The publication details of a bibliographic entry of an online published source should not appear inside brackets. Basically, one should include the type of dissertation, place, and year of publication should appear and separate them using commas. In practice, these details should follow the title of the source.

2. The URL

Students should include the URL link that leads to the source. In this case, the URL should be accurate to avoid the vagueness of the bibliographic entry. For instance, the URL link should appear as “http://www.” Moreover, the URL link should be the last item in the bibliographic entry. Therefore, one should include the valid URL link that leads to the online published thesis.

Examples of Relevant Citations

1. Scheme of the Citation

The following are examples of citing schemes for referencing a dissertation or thesis in Chicago/Turabian that one can use to write a bibliographic entry of unpublished, published, and online dissertations.

A) The bibliographic entry of an unpublished dissertation should follow the scheme:

Last, First M. “Thesis/Dissertation Title.” (Ph.D. diss., [OR] Master’s thesis, Academic institution, year).

B) A published dissertation’s bibliographic entry should follow the scheme:

Last, First M. “Thesis/Dissertation Title.” Ph.D. diss., [OR] Master’s thesis, Academic institution, year. Database name (accession number).

C) An online published dissertation’s bibliographic entry should follow the scheme:

Last, First M. “Title of the Dissertation or Thesis.” Ph.D. diss., [OR] Master’s thesis, Academic institution, year. http://www.url.com

2. Samples of Actual Citations

A) The actual citation of an unpublished dissertation should take the form:

Choi, Mihwa. “Contesting Representations in Rituals during the Northern Song Dynasty.” (Ph.D. diss., Chicago/Turabian University, 2020).

B) The actual citation of a published dissertation should take the form:

Choi, Mihwa. “Contesting Representations in Rituals during the Northern Song Dynasty.” Ph.D. diss., Chicago/Turabian University, 2020. ProQuest (AAT 5612356).

C) The actual citation of an online published dissertation should take the form:

Lewis, Jennifer, “A Multi-Method Approach to Examining Emotion Regulation Profiles in Women with and without Borderline Personality Disorder,” 2020, https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/handle/1794/25256.

Note: Not all of these examples of citing a dissertation or thesis in Chicago/Turabian are actual works written by scholars. In turn, such samples serve only for learning purposes.

Summing Up on How to Cite a Dissertation or Thesis in Chicago/Turabian

Dissertations refer to a document submitted by a student intended to support the candidature for an academic degree. Basically, thesis papers allow students to contribute new knowledge, theories, and practices in their field of specialization. In this case, they contain credible information that other scholars can use for citations. Then, the most common types of dissertations include undergraduate and Master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation. Moreover, students at different levels of higher learning education must learn the main rules on how to cite a dissertation or thesis in Chicago/Turabian format to avoid plagiarism cases. In turn, there are some specific rules that writers should follow when developing citations for dissertations. Hence, the following are some of the factors that one must consider:

  • The bibliographic entry of unpublished dissertation should appear as “Last, First M. “Thesis/Dissertation Title.” (Ph.D. diss., [OR] Master’s thesis, Academic institution, year).”
  • A published dissertation’s bibliographic entry should appear as “Last, First M. “Thesis/Dissertation Title.” Ph.D. diss., [OR] Master’s thesis, Academic institution, year. Database name (accession number).”
  • An online published dissertation’s bibliographic entry should appear as “Last, First M. “Title of the Dissertation or Thesis.” Ph.D. diss., [OR] Master’s thesis, Academic institution, year. http://www.url.com”
  • One should omit the author’s name in cases where it does not appear on the title page of the dissertation. In this case, the title of the dissertation should serve as identification details for the source.